50 Words or Less
The Titleist TSi3 fairway wood is a very strong performer off the tee. Surprising forgiveness. Strong trajectory off the turf, so consider lofting up unless you’re a skilled FW player.
Fairway woods used to be do-everything clubs. They were used off the tee, on long approaches, and even to get out of trouble spots. Now, thanks to changes in strategy and the wide array of hybrids and utility irons available, fairway woods are specialty clubs for many players. I tested the Titleist TSi3 fairway wood to see how these changes in the game affected the design of this new club.
Check out the new Titleist TSR3 Fairway Wood HERE
I’m not as gaga over the TSi3 fairway wood as I am over the driver [review HERE], but this is still a very sharp looking club. As with the big stick, the branding is pushed almost off the edges of the sole, leaving room for futuristic geometric designs. The front half the of the sole also displays two key pieces of tech – ARC and SureFit GC – which will be explained in detail later.
At address, the gap between the TSi2 and TSi3 fairway woods is not as big as it is between the drivers, but it’s still significant. The TSi3 is more compact from front to back with a shape that’s round, not stretched like the TSi2. That said, I was still a little surprised at the size of the TSi3 – it’s bigger than I expected. This may reflect the way that golfers are using FWs off the tee more than they are off the turf. Finally, both versions have fairly tall faces, but the TSi3 is slightly shorter.
Sound & Feel
While the size of the TSi3 fairway wood threw me a little bit, the sound and feel were exactly what I expected. Impact is whisper quiet but the feel is still hot and fast. I used the term “sniper rifle” in my notes, which, sadly, applies to the sound but not the accuracy for me.
Feedback from the TSi3 fairway wood is excellent through both feel and sound. Mishits lose the crisp audio character of pure strikes. From the first swings, I was able to easily pinpoint the strike location on the face.
In both looks and feel, the TSi3 fairway wood is outstanding, just like big brother. There are similarities in the way it performs, too. While it has very good forgiveness for a players club, higher handicap players will get more consistent results from the TSi2 [review HERE].
The major key to the forgiveness of the TSi3 fairway wood is the Active Recoil Channel 4.0. As the name suggests, this is a technology that Titleist has employed for several generations, and it continues to work as advertised. ARC makes ball speed and launch angle more robust low on the face so you see fewer unintentional stingers.
The other piece of technology that you’ll see on the sole is the SureFit CG system which has the same strengths and weaknesses as in the TSi3 driver. It looks very slick – at a glance, you wouldn’t even know it’s a weighting system. In terms of usability, it’s an upgrade on the last generation which required you to have additional weights to maximize its potential. However, moving the weight has a relatively small impact on ball flight and there are only three positions. For high end ball strikers looking to enhance a draw or fade, it’s ideal. If you need something to cure a nasty hook, this isn’t it.
As I mentioned earlier, the TSi3 fairway wood has a fairly large head (175 cc) and a medium-deep face. For me – a low-launching player who doesn’t love fairway woods – the TSi3 was great off the tee but less so off the turf. I found it to be mid-launch, mid-spin which was great when hit pure, but not high launching enough to maximize my average shot. For a skilled fairway wood player, the workability and trajectory control will be a huge asset.
As is often the case with Titleist’s woods, the TSi3 fairway wood puts golfers in a tough situation. With its beautiful looks and wonderful impact sound, golfers will want to bag it. And low handicap players should. For the higher handicap player, unless you have a particular skill with fairway woods, the TSi2 will be the wiser choice.